summer

End of Summer Berkshires Weekend

BY TARA BURKE

Since college Cailin and I have been giving each other experience presents compared to actual gifts for our birthdays. This year I got Cailin a weekend at a cabin in the Berkshires! My parents pitched in to make it a full family getaway. Our check-in was at 3pm so on the way there we stopped at No Six Depot Roastery Cafe. It is a super cute cafe with a delicious drink and food menu. We planned a big dinner at the cabin, so we only got drinks. Together we got a iced latte, Mocha Latte, Mexican Hot Chocolate and lemonade. Everything was great and if you’re in the area while it’s still warm get the lemonade. It was the perfect combo of tart and sweet.

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A Day in Vermont

BY TARA BURKE

During the summer Cailin and I are always looking for outdoorsy adventures. We went on a day trip to Vermont and Cailin decided that our activity for the day would be hopping around looking for covered bridges. Before you laugh at this choice of activity, it’s actually pretty fun and you can treat it as a kind of treasure hunt. Covered bridges were created to keep the wooden truss protected from the weather and upon doing a little research into the history of the covered bridge (I’m a dork, haha) it seems people are very serious about seeing these historic bridges. There’s even a whole site dedicated to providing interactive maps for all the covered bridges in the U.S. and Canada. Turns out, Vermont is actually kind of famous for their covered bridges since the state built and still contains the most covered bridges in the U.S.

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Rockaway Beach

BY CAILIN BURKE

It’s crazy that amidst all of NYC there can be beautiful beaches within the boroughs! We had already been to Brighton Beach (near Coney Island- read our post about it here!) so I wanted to try something new and had heard Rockaway Beach in Queens was beautiful! It was tricky to get there since we found out much, much too late that there was limited subway service. The good thing is that normally all you have to do is take the subway there so it’s such an affordable trip! In our instance though, we had to transfer to a bus but it ended up working out since it took us further down the beach and we ended up getting off around 100th St. This area was far less crowded than the rest of the beach so we lucked out (but shh don’t tell too many people!). Rockaway Beach was just as I had heard, beautiful, clean, and so relaxing!

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Governors Island: Castle Williams

BY TARA BURKE

If you’ve been following us for awhile you’ll know Cailin and I love us some Governors Island. The island is filled with history, beautiful landscapes and architecture. We have been wanting to take our whole family there for awhile and finally got the chance this past weekend. When we go we usually bike around the island, but this time we went on the Castle Williams tour.

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The tour is 30 minutes long and takes you through three levels of the fort turned prison as well as the roof. Castle Williams was built in the early 19th century to protect the New York Harbor before the War of 1812. During the Civil War and into the early 20th century it served as a low security prison. It is really interesting to learn how the fort’s original purpose was reconstructed to fit each time period’s needs.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around the island and enjoying some perfect summer weather. Of course, we also spent some time relaxing at Hammock Grove before we headed back to Manhattan on the ferry.

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Mets Game: deGnome Night!

BY TARA BURKE

We love our baseball and there is nothing quite like sitting in the stands watching a baseball game on a summer night. We’re Mets fans so before the season starts we always scour the events calendar to check out all the game day promotions. When we found out they’d be giving out a Jacob deGrom garden gnome on May 2nd, we immediately bought tickets. DeGrom is Cailin’s favorite pitcher on the Mets, plus everyone loves his signature locks. In turn, we just had to get a deGnome!

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Upstate NY Lunch & Hike

BY TARA BURKE

We were back home in Upstate NY for the weekend, so our stepdad treated us to lunch at Man of Kent Tavern in Hoosick Falls. It was a beautiful day so we sat in their outside seating area, which was set up with cute tables and flowers lining the entire porch. Cailin got the Pulled Pork Sandwich, our stepdad got the Rodeo Burger and I got the Colonel’s Special Sandwich. Everything was delicious and we were stuffed to the brim.

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Fashion: Last Days of Summer

BY TARA BURKE

I’m sad to say that the season of sundresses is coming to an end. So, this week I took advantage of the still summery weather to wear this yellow and flower patterned dress. I just love this dress because it is so perfect for a sunny day and has kind of a mod looking cut and fabric. Plus, I got it for $3 at the thrift store. Can’t beat that! I paired it with a pair of white wedges and a necklace from my Mom’s jewelry line.

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Shakespeare in the Park: King Lear

BY TARA BURKE

I love everything about Shakespeare’s plays and there is really nothing like seeing them performed. After all, Shakespeare’s prose was intended for the stage, so if you aren’t particularity keen on Shakespeare, or remember tirelessly trying to get through Elizabethan English in high school, I’d definitely recommend attending a performance. Shakespeare in the Park is the perfect opportunity to do so. It’s always free to the public, so you don’t have to make a financial investment and it’s possible you can get tickets just by entering their virtual lottery on their website. Even if you end up seeing a tragedy, which statistically is very probable, Shakespeare always has great comic relief. One of my favorite things about Shakespeare is how his plays can still get a whole 21st century audience laughing. It just shows how timeless his writing and themes are. Okay, enough with my Shakespeare rant haha!

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So Cailin, who also shares my affinity for Shakespeare, and I went bright and early (5am!) to the Delacorte Theater Box Office in Central Park to wait for the free ticket distribution. You should try to get there around 6am if you want to hopefully guarantee yourself tickets. They start handing out tickets at noon so it was quite a wait, but it wasn’t so bad since we just chilled on a blanket with lots of coffee on a nice morning in the park.

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The inflatable pool lounges were my favorite form of a makeshift bed. People came prepared!

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For the rest of the day we picnicked on the Great Lawn and strolled around Shakespeare Garden until showtime. We were lucky enough to catch the last run of The Public Theater’s production of King Lear. The show was excellent and everything from the acting, production, and costumes to the set design was just great. You really are getting a huge deal being able to see a Shakespeare production of this caliber in NYC for free. Next summer we are definitely planning on going to more!

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We Love Governors Island

BY CAILIN BURKE

After spending our first month living near NYC and getting to explore Manhattan, Brooklyn, a bit of Queens and Harlem, and A LOT of Hoboken… we decided to leave the city life for a little bit. We had heard of Governors Island and after seeing that it was only a $2 round trip ferry ride to get there, we thought “why not?” We’ve gone several times now and what I love most about the island is the epic views of Lower Manhattan, the free bikes on weekday mornings, and the hammocks. Our first time there, we just walked around the island, got lunch from the many food trucks there, and ended our day with Mister Softee ice cream, a NYC staple!

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Since we saw everyone riding bikes during our first visit, we knew we wanted to come back and have a leisurely day out of the city, just bike riding on an island. So we woke our roommate up super early to catch the ferry and make it to the island in time to get the free bike deal. Every weekday you can ride a cruiser for a free hour between 10am-12pm. Since New York is one of the most expensive cities and free things aren’t super common, we had to take advantage of it. Biking with the Statue of Liberty on one side and the Freedom Tower on the other was amazing. Plus since it was a weekday, the island wasn’t overly crowded and as an extra bonus we could ride down the hills as fast as we wanted!

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Although Governors Island isn’t a tropical island by any means, it is just as relaxing. We went to the one area of the island known as Hammock Grove and were lucky enough to each score our own hammocks! We spent the rest of the afternoon in these hammocks reading and it definitely felt like a little island getaway. If you’re tired of busy city life, a day trip to Governors Island is the perfect remedy!

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Tuesday Fashion Find

BY TARA BURKE

There is nothing I love to wear more than a casual dress in the summer. It makes getting ready in the morning really easy and your look is instantly more polished. I found this dress on sale for $7 at Macy’s. My trick was buying a summer item in the winter. Well it wasn’t even really winter, it was probably in the first few weeks of September. I’m sure everyone can attest to experiencing the differences between the retail calendar and the actual calendar. In February the spring retail season starts and once August hits, fall retail season is in full swing. This retail calendar is the culprit for why seasons seem to go by in a blink and holidays come quicker every year. However, it makes for some great clearance opportunities. No store wants their spring items on the sales floor come fall season, so sales for summer clothes can start as early as July. If you wait until late August or September, you can find amazing deals on warm weather clothing. Being from NY means I usually don’t get to wear these items until the next summer, but through the winter they sit in my closet as a happy reminder of warm, sunny and carefree days to come. I especially love this dress because it can easily transition into fall. To me plaid has always been a fall pattern, but the unique pale green and pink colors make this dress perfect for spring/summer as well!

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Happy Summer Everyone!